Breakfast buffets feel like a candy store to me. As breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, having absolutely everything I want is like winning a lottery somewhat. What I didn't realize though, what if you have to deal with the same breakfast buffet for consecutive days? Does that take away from the excitement? How many creative combinations and permutations can you make until you can say you are bored and tired of it?

I had that realization today. It puts me in a quandary of how I will manage it for the days to come. Shall I say, weeks to come...

This is my dilemma.

So I am to stay in my hotel in Dushanbe for 17 days. Imagine, 17 breakfasts in the same place. Yes, it is free and included with the room rate. But then the interesting thing is, it features the same items on the buffet. Day in and day out.


The spread is modest. It offers some local breakfast fare. Various cereals, dried fruit and nuts, two types of bread, jams, fresh  fruit and vegetables, yogurt and dairy products, hardboiled eggs, some cold cuts and cheese, porridge, tea, coffee and apple juice.

You could do a lot of mix and matches if you think about it. But for how far and how long?

By the third day, I was growing tired of it. At that point, I had tried all the items on the buffet. I find this amusing, and my family and friends can attest to this. I can eat grilled cheese sandwich and tea for breakfast for days on end and not grow tired of it. But here I am struggling with this variety, growing tired of it so quickly.

I guess it is a mix that I am not really accustomed to. Very soon, I will have to go out early and have breakfast elsewhere. But meantime, I had a plan.

I made several trips to the grocery. During one of those, I found this spreadable cheese with mushroom that I absolutely love. It just goes so well with Tajik bread, it is addicting. This has enhanced my breakfast in so many ways.. One such way was building my own breakfast toast.

So I picked up a hardboiled egg, some olives for contrast and color, and the brown bread that I liked.. I selected the table farthest from everyone, turned my back at them so to give me some privacy. In my own corner, I started a bit of cutting, slicing, peeling on the table top. I pretended it was my own kitchen. Did a little this and that. And then suddenly, the world was bright again.


It was tasty, and satisfying, and visually appealing.. At least to me :)

With this savory delight, I needed a bit of sweet.

The Tajik porridge, "gardob" made with from flour, water, oil and milk, served on the buffet was very interesting. It was sweet, but not over the top. It tasted like oatmeal, but better. I could practically eat it by itself. But with some toppings, it was a whole new ballgame. This was something that could take me through, way beyond lunch!


For my concoction, I topped it with raisins (I've never seen raisins these big before), walnuts and orange marmalade. Yummy!!

I gave myself a pat in the back after this meal. For being resourceful and creative with my food.


Anyway, tomorrow is another day. We find out what surprises it has in store.

This article originally appears on my personal blog, Chowpowwows, where chow is always on the lowdown. 

Published by Michelle Africa